Under the patronage of the Minister of Interior and Municipalities, Raya Hassan, the Internal Security Forces have just launched a new online safety awareness campaign in an effort to protect Lebanese citizens from the dangers of cyberspace.
Titled "So You Don't Become a Victim," the campaign was announced at the Coral Beach Hotel in Beirut by Head of General Security Abbas Ibrahim and Minister Raya Hassan in the presence of representatives of military and security forces, associations, universities, schools, and clubs.
In his speech, Mr. Ibrahim emphasized that the Internal Security Forces are embarking in this awareness initiative in an effort to protect the citizens from the dangers of cyberspace.
He explained that the cyberspace has been storing information on the lives of humans, their lifestyles, and their ways of thinking, and while the two main purposes are education/awareness and security, "these two goals intersect at a third that is most important: Protecting Lebanon, its institutions and its people of this most dangerous one."
Ibrahim also revealed that Lebanon’s security forces have been utilizing cybertechnology in a "silent war against enemies" such as terrorist organizations and Israel that have used the internet to recruit new members or agents.
In her words, Minister Hassan considered that the most important thing in this campaign is "that it is based on a humanitarian initiative to protect children who should be surrounded by an awareness network. Parents must first build a friendship with their children".
Hassan also considered the Internet and cyberspace a serious issue. "The internet is not a game," she added.
She stressed on that they are working "to protect individuals and to ensure the security of our civil and military administrations or private institutions so that no one is exposed to any breach, and so the country and its economy won't be the victims."
As part of the newly launched campaign, the Lebanese General Security has posted a series of videos on social media that shed light on the threats posed to Lebanese citizens online.
One of those videos films shows a young man being radicalized after spending time on his laptop. While the video kicks off with him wearing casual jeans and a t-shirt, the scene develops into him wearing a suicide vest with the black banner of Daesh (ISIS) behind him.
We, likewise, urge our fellow citizens to take this campaign seriously, heed it, and contribute to its spreading. While the internet has been a great blessing to humanity with its countless advantages, it is also a space to tread with caution, and where our children shouldn't cyber unguided and unattended.